Sergio Lopez - North SF Bay Area Fine Artist

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Figure Drawing: Switching Surfaces

I've been using rough newsprint for the last few months. It's ok for certain techniques, but it has qualities that make it not the most ideal surface for drawing. I finally finished the pad and am now on to 1 of 3 of my Canson Biggie sketch pads.  I like them, but they have a completely different feel compared to newsprint. There are techniques which you can and can't do with either paper. I shouldn't say "can't" but it's a lot harder to use some tools on one surface compared to the other.

I do this every so often where I switch from newsprint to sketch paper and vice versa. It's always a period of adjustment for the next few sessions. I tend to use a lot of different tools for the sketch paper, whereas I tend to have a set method for newsprint. With yesterday's drawing night, each session I used something different or approached it a different way.

For these 5 minute sketches I used Derwent Onyx graphite pencils. Pencils kind of get me to be more precise and rely on accuracy of drawing to make it pleasing.


This ten-minute drawing used a Conte pencil. Conte pencil feels great on anything.


This 20-minute drawing was all graphite as well. It's not very efficient to use a pencil to try and do a tonal drawing, but I can't help to use some hatching for shading.


This one was a mix of Derwent Drawing Pencils and Conte Pencil. This one was fun to do because I was able to get my idea across, which was to suggest the values using edges and not having to rely on filling in everything.


This one was a mix of vine charcoal, graphite and Derwent pencil. I rarely if ever use vine charcoal so heavily on newsprint. The sketch paper grips it much better, which lets you do more with it. If I tried to use vine charcoal and blending stump like this on newsprint, it would become a mess. 


My last drawing of the night was this 15-minute study in graphite. I enjoyed drawing this one because of her pose and the lighting across her ribs.


I plan for next time to explore more tonal approaches. Maybe some compressed charcoal? We'll see.


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